Cannes Lions

Harley-Davidson 2021 Launch Events


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Case Film
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2021 brought Harley-Davidson’s first-ever virtual event to reveal its Model Year 21 lineup of motorcycles – a 2-day event we scripted, shot and produced – and a few weeks later the launch event for Harley’s highly anticipated adventure-touring motorcycle, Pan America. As part of both integrated productions, two dedicated microsites – the H-D 21 event site and the PanAm reveal site – encourage riders to continue the adventure on their own. With a goal to make users want to go for a ride (or straight to the dealer), both platforms serve as a hub for both launches, bringing together a series of rider-centric, docu-style films and interactive elements that invite users to explore each new model in unprecedented, tactile detail.


H-D sought to embrace new, diverse groups of riders with the Pan America, riders they refer to as “outlaw adventurers” – someone who likes to explore the road less traveled, sit around a campfire at night telling stories of the day’s adventure, and sleep under the stars. Someone who considers “touring,” detouring. But most importantly, someone who isn’t concerned about maintaining the status quo but instead finds peace, beauty and adventure on the road. We felt the best way to capture the desirability of that lifestyle and the allure of the road Pan America offers was to document that culture from the rider’s POV, through a series of docu-style, unscripted, up close and personal films that would be the centerpiece of the launch. We partnered with Harley enthusiast Jason Momoa of Game of Thrones fame to produce original content that built desirability and excitement for the reveal.


Harley-Davidson riders are often stereotyped as older, rugged males but there are large, diverse and underrepresented groups that love their Harleys – finding joy, community and balance when riding. We wanted to represent and engage that segment of the Harley audience by telling their stories as authentically as possible. So we took a docu-style approach – no actors, no scripts, no sets – highlighting the experience of the rider rather than the bike itself to create original, real content that sells the Harley culture authentically. No talking heads. Real riders, telling their stories, on their roads, filmed by a small crew in a van with a few bags of gear – making them feel comfortable enough to open up about their personal journeys. The hero film for each bike is a combination of each biker’s personal story and beautiful, epic bike footage on its respective terrain.


As companions to the Model Year 21 and Pan America launches, both microsites serve as hubs that connect content from both events – and invite users to start their own. Both platforms are built around a sideways scrolling action, which mirrors a journey from point A to B. As users scroll through the Model Year 21 platform’s seven chapters, they’re met with a series of immersive interactions and hotspots, like turning on the new Rockford Fosgate-powered radio with a click, or customizing 3D renders of each new bike with different paint jobs. These features are built to offer a sense of excitement and help riders envision themselves on the open road. In addition to tactile product features, other content aims to inform; users can see how Harley’s premium seating both warms and cools by selecting different seasons, triggering animations that visually explain the technology.


The Model Year 21 event was Harley-Davidson’s first-ever digital reveal of new models and features in its 118-year history. Localized for 11 countries around the world, we were able to reach a wider audience of riders than ever before and better represent the brand's diverse ridership. H-D dealer-only video content (internal facing) garnered over 47K views. (According to the company’s website, in 2020 there were 1,379 H-D dealers globally.)

The virtual launch event for the Pan America reached over 360k viewers, and delivered a full sellout of the Pan America’s pre-order allocation. Since its launch in February 2021, the Pan America has received widespread global media acclaim, with over 2 billion media impressions and a 97% positive media sentiment.

The 26-minute documentary film Everything’s a Road: The Path to Pan America has garnered nearly 270K views on YouTube.

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